The term wellness has many definitions and can be applied to multiple areas of life. The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as “an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” We can all agree that living a more successful existence appeals to most people.
That is why, before we step on the path to wellness, we must first examine what wellness means in our lives. Wellness is that state of holistic health in which all parts of our being are healthy and well. Holistic living occurs when our physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies are all synchronized in a state of harmony and balance.
When all of these aspects of our being are operating in healthy ways, we are in a state of wellness. There are many approaches to achieving wellness in each part of ourselves, yet all these working parts are interconnected. Let’s dissect each aspects so we can find our path toward the well of wellness.
What is Physical Wellness?
Optimal physical wellness is achieved through the combination of healthy nutrition, regular exercise, illness prevention, restorative sleep, sensible medical care, clean environment, healthy relationships, and being in tune to our body. The more conscious we are of our physical health, the quicker we can respond to health issues as they arise. The physical body’s state of being is also greatly impacted by the other bodies: energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies.
Paths to Physical Wellness
Exercise, movement and nutrition help fuel our physical bodies. It’s also important to accept our bodies, including our strengths and weaknesses. Then, we can implement health goals to achieve a higher level of desired wellness. For example, sleep and rest are important to refuel, and often this presents problems for people who are in overdrive.
Implementing a consistent gratitude and meditation practice can expedite health goals. These practices allow a sense of interconnectedness between all the bodies. To step on the path of physical wellness, it’s important to have a good plan in place, allowing self-care and patience to be part of the mindset. Goal setting and planning can best be done via mindful meditation. With these tools, we are better equipped to successfully navigate the path to physical wellness.
What is Energetic Wellness?
Our energetic field is contained by our etheric body, which is the subtle energetic field that surrounds the physical body. Many theosophical schools of thought describe the energetic field or etheric body as one’s aura. Said another way, the energetic field is the subtle projection of the state of health and wellness of all of the other bodies combined.
Paths to Energetic Wellness
Our energetic field is an amalgam of all aspects of our being. One common thread can be woven into how we plant our foot on the path of energetic wellness – calm energy. When we are in a state of chaos, stress and frenetic energy, our energetic field reflects that state back
into our other bodies and the world around us. This greatly impacts our nervous systems and can result in either calm or stress.
When we are able to acknowledge the source of stress or work through the details, we uplift the energy to be proactive and optimistic. Then, we are better equipped to release the negative energy and replace it with calm energy in our energetic field, or etheric body. Prayer and meditation are great tools to focus, uplift, and manage the energy we wield.
What is Emotional Wellness?
It’s no secret that emotional health can impact our physical health. Emotional instability can cause physical instability, and so on. When people are in a state of peace and wellness in their emotional body, and their emotions reflect appropriate responses to the stimuli at hand, then emotional intelligence is heightened. However, when people become stuck in the past, due to states of emotional trauma or difficulty, those emotions often dictate their current state of being.
Emotional wellness is about being aware of and accepting feelings, rather than denying them. This awareness enables the shift to optimism, which ultimately leads to wellness. Whether a person’s emotional state is well or ill, directly impacts their physical, energetic, mental,
and spiritual wellness.
Paths to Emotional Wellness
People who are emotionally well are able to make decisions based on a synthesis of feelings, thoughts, philosophies, mindsets, and behaviors. They adapt a positive attitude and seek healthy connections with others. When emotions become overwhelming, they are able to shift into a mindset of positivity and love. This state of emotional wellness can be achieved by first being aware of feelings, then uplifting them to a positive emotional level or releasing them.
There are many ways to approach emotional instability. Medical treatment and counseling are often necessary. In daily management of emotions, prayer, meditation, and visualization are excellent tools. Repetition is key in this effort to reprogram the emotional flow inside of
us. Once our foot is on the path to emotional wellness, we are then able to seek healthy connections with others (and ourselves) by expressing emotions in an appropriate manner.
What is Mental Wellness?
The state of one’s mental health is a key component to overall wellness. Approximately 43.8 million adults (1 in 25) in the U.S. experience serious mental illness in a given year that substantially impacts their lives. And, this number is conservative as many mentally ill cases are undiagnosed.
Many mental illnesses manifest as emotional and physical problems, pointing directly to the nature of how deeply entwined all of our bodies are. States of anxiety and stress, for example, manifest in the mental body, impacting the nervous system and all other aspects of the body. Mental wellness directly affects a person’s physical, energetic, emotional, and spiritual
Paths to Mental Wellness
The path to mental wellness is not usually linear; it is a synthesis of efforts and energy. Beginning with awareness, focus, and skills to release chaotic or negative mental constructs. Often medical or alternative treatment is needed, but all remedies become much more efficient with skills like mindful meditation.
It is impossible to “clear the mind,” but it is possible to strengthen our ability to focus and create healthy mental constructs. The path to mental wellness may be windy, but with the right skills and help, you will cultivate a greater focus and create the mental reality you want.
What is Spiritual Wellness?
Many people in the world do not have a spiritual affiliation or belief system. But, for those people who do, their spiritual relationships can directly impact their mental, emotional, energetic, and physical bodies. Faith has a way of trickling into our sense of higher purpose, into the crevasses of all the other bodies.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, “Spirituality can also help people deal with mental distress or mental illness. Spirituality can bring a feeling of being connected to something bigger than yourself and it can provide way of coping.”
Paths to Spiritual Wellness
Spirituality and religion can nourish and feed one’s soul. Yet, not everyone is religious. That is why adapting a healthy program through which you can cultivate your sense of purpose and meaning is instrumental in finding the path to spiritual wellness.
Church groups, think tanks, prayer, meditation, study groups, yoga, goal setting, introspection,
gratitude journaling, and more are all tools that can aid one in nourishing your spiritual seeds. These aspects can propel us down a path to spiritual wellness that has a huge impact on our lives. The notion that there is divinity and/or purpose has a way of manifesting and attracting spiritual well-being.
Path to Wellness
Wellness is more than just handling stress. It also involves being aware of behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and mindsets. If these patterns are negative or overwhelming, then we can consciously change them from negative to positive with the many tools listed in the above paths to wellness.
In taking the first step, which is awareness, we will be more cognizant as to how to uplevel each aspect into a state of wellness. In essence, we have a well of wellness inside of us. And, with the right tools, we can sidestep much of the toxicity and negative. We can embark upon our path to wellness. We can BE wellness.